Farmers from around the country and around the world, not to mention many Hoosiers, are heading for Anaheim, California this week for the annual farmer-led Commodity Classic, presented by the national corn, soybean, wheat and sorghum groups, along with the Association of Equipment Manufacturers.
Hoosier farmers in California include the board members of the Indiana Corn Marketing Council, Indiana Corn Growers Association, and the Indiana Soybean Alliance. It’s just a portion of the travel each winter for these farmers who work to expand markets and resolve issues on behalf of Indiana farmers. ISA Chairman Tom Griffiths told HAT travel this year has already included a trip to Vietnam.
“We traveled to Vietnam to see what kind of opportunities were there, and it was very enlightening to see some of their aquaculture, pork production and poultry production,” he said, “and, it’s a great opportunity for Indiana soybeans to be exporting to that country. There is a lot of U.S. soybeans going into Vietnam as well as Argentinian and Brazilian soybeans. Price is a factor; foreign material is a factor. They do like ours because of the protein content, but in some markets price is still the underlying issue.”
Aquaculture in Vietnam does represent a good opportunity for U.S. soybean growers because of the sustainable supply of soybean meal that can make up the fish diet.
“Aquaculture is still in its infancy. They’re learning that some of the things that they’ve done in the past aren’t going to work anymore. It needs to be more sustainable. The use of fish meal is declining all the time and soybeans is one of the things that’s going to fill that void.”
Now at Commodity Classic it will be all about the technology, inputs and agronomic wisdom that can lead to even more yield at lower cost for the 2018 crop. The farm bill, RFS, and trade deals will also take center stage.